Get ready for your baby’s arrival by upping your intake of the sunshine vitamin
Pregnant women who are lacking in vitamin D are likely to have a more painful labour, researchers have found.
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Measuring the vitamin D levels of 93 pregnant women who had requested an epidural during labour, the experts then kept track of how much pain medication each women needed during labour. The experts, presenting at the American Society of Anesthesiologists annual meeting, revealed that women with low levels of the vitamin needed more pain medication than those with higher amounts.
‘Women often experience lower than normal levels of vitamin D during pregnancy'
READ: PREGNANCY VITAMINS: THE BEST ANTENATAL SUPPLEMENTS
‘Women often experience lower than normal levels of vitamin D during pregnancy,’ says Dr Andrew Geller, the senior researcher. ‘We found that patients with low levels of vitamin D experienced an increase in pain during childbirth. Given the research results, prevention and treatment of low vitamin D levels in pregnant women may have a significant impact on decreasing labor pain in millions of women every year.’
READ: SO WHAT’S THE TRUTH ABOUT TAKING VITAMINS FOR PREGNANCY?
Vitamin D isn’t found in a huge amount of foods, but you can eat oily fish, eggs, fortified breakfast cereals, fortified fat spreads and powered milk to up your intake. You can also increase your levels of the vitamin by spending time outdoors, as we get most of our vitamin D from sunlight.
The Department of Health recommends that ‘all pregnant and breastfeeding women should take a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D.’
Do you take vitamin D in pregnancy? Let us know in the comments box below.